Updated from 8:29 a.m. EDT

(At 4:01 p.m. EDT)

Moving to Wednesday

The swine flu outbreak and Sen. Arlen Specter's choice to leave the Republican party and join the Democrats garnered the most attention Tuesday, and in likelihood both headlines will continue to be the topic of conversation for days to come.

I know I should probably be more concerned than I am about the swine flu, but at this point I'm really sick of hearing about it and would rather focus on something else. Thankfully, there will be plenty of earnings reports coming on Wednesday that may receive more attention and knock swine flu out of the spotlight, if only temporarily.

Time Warner ( TWX), Wyeth ( WYE), Qwest ( Q) and General Dynamics ( GD), among many others, will be reporting quarterly results before the start of trading Wednesday.

Before that, investors will have to sift through earnings releases scheduled after Tuesday's closing bell, including E*Trade ( ETFC) and Sun Microsystems ( JAVA), among several others.

Honestly, it's not the same list of heavyweight companies we saw reporting last week. But there are so many different sectors of the market represented in the reports set for release this week that investors, once they manage to get past the swine flu hysteria and stress test rumors, can get a solid idea of how things are playing out.

The economic calendar will also be closely watched Wednesday, especially with the Federal Reserve set to deliver their latest rate decision. With a target rate of 0% to 0.25%, there won't be much for the Federal Open Market Committee to do with rates, but the central bank's policy-making arm may offer comments on quantitative easing and other plans the Fed has.

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